Oscar Perry Abello

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The Banks We Deserve

Reclaiming Community Banking for a Just Economy

Island Press

The number of community banks in the US has been steadily declining for decades, giving way to big banks that have little connection to the communities they claim to serve. In The Banks We Deserve, journalist Oscar Perry Abello argues that community banking has a crucial role to play in addressing urgent social challenges, from creating a more racially just economy to preparing for a changing climate.
Abello tells the stories of new community banks — like Adelphi Bank, the first new Black bank in 20 years; or Walden Mutual Bank, the first mutual bank chartered specifically to finance a more sustainable food system. He hopes these stories inspire others to take some of these same daunting-but-not-impossible steps.

For a community or industry that is being ignored by big banks, the idea of starting up a new bank or credit union rarely figures as an option. In The Banks We Deserve, Abello shows advocates, organizers, and innovators that it can be done, that it is being done, and describes a path to support more community banks and credit unions.

  • Copyright year: 2025
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